Rating:

3 Small Stars
The R.E.M. Effect
835

The title is way, way too long and it’s definitely not my kind of book! It’s probably a very good read if you’re into thrillers with people running around trying to stay alive and uncover secrets. And that’s the summary of the book. And, to me, it’s not very exciting. Again, I read almost exclusively, military science fiction, yet I was asked by the author to read his book and give a review. So, that’s what I’m doing, but when I do that, authors need to understand that I might not drool over your book since I don’t care to read these kinds of stories.

So, what’s it about. Well, it’s about pills in the modern age. It seems that everyone is looking for some kind of miracle pill that will help them with their problems. And in the United States, one of the biggest problems we have is that we work too much and sleep too little. People are getting up and going to work at ungodly hours of the morning while staying awake at night watching TV or doing whatever when they should be sound asleep. Then, there’s those that worry about every little thing and won’t allow their brains time to wind down so they can sleep. It will eventually catch up to you and you’ll conk out at the most inopportune time, hopefully not while you’re driving a vehicle! Well, this book is about a new pill, Ocula, that provides the user with one glorious eight-hours of uninterrupted R.E.M. sleep! You wake up refreshed and ready to take on anything. Oh, R.E.M. stands for “rapid eye movement” which is supposed to be the deepest part of human sleep. This is where are dreams come from. Of course, I’m not a sleep specialist, I’ve just read about this stuff. But, in the book, something happens when you take Ocula and go into REM sleep. Something very strange and deadly.

The character development in the book was kind of shallow for me. There are several main characters, but it doesn’t seem like we get much of feeling of who they are. There’s one journalist that was held captive and tortured by her captives, but she doesn’t seem to be much affected by that experience. Then there’s Paul Freeman who seems to be an average guy starting a new job. We don’t know much about his background, but he gets caught up in all this stuff because his wife secretly feeds him some Ocula one night before bed. It nearly gets him killed, yet the only think he can think of later is protecting his wife and child from the bad guys. We also meet Donny Ford, a loud-mouth huckster who’s peddling some mind over matter BS to gullible audiences. What happens to him is just fine as far as I’m concerned. These kind of guys are thieves in broad daylight stealing peoples money before they know it. And then there’s Tanner, the very bad guy. That’s about all I can say about him.

Finally, what really surprised me about this book is that it ended so abruptly. I was reading along thinking that there were things that had to get done for the plot to move along and maybe the main characters had some room to operate in and then it was over. I guess there is a second book coming but it’s not mentioned anywhere in the book. Then I guess it doesn’t matter to me anyway, cause I’m not going to read any more of this since, as I said, it’s not my kind of book.

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